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Old 07-12-2009, 07:54 PM   #1
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Default Natural Alternative to Beer Gas?

I want to make that perfect creamy stout. But I'm not a big believer in force carbonation. I'd much prefer to naturally carbonate in the keg. I know that beer gas is 75% CO2 25% N mix. Normal natural carbonation gives almost entirely CO2 (or is it entirely?) and just a bit of N. So how could I naturally create more Nitrogen? Is there a sugar or something, that ferments to create Nitrogen?
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:58 PM   #2
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Why are you against force carbing? I'm assuming you are at least pushing the beer with a tank of CO2, so you are more than likely force carbing a bit.

While there are some bacteria that can make N2, they would not survive (and you would probably not want them) in your beer. To get a creamy stout you don't really need to force carbonate (force nitrogenate?) with it, just serve with it.

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Old 07-12-2009, 09:04 PM   #3
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I'm afraid that beer gas is about your only option for serving. I, too, am quite curious about your aversion to force carbonation.

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Old 07-12-2009, 10:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewjack View Post
I want to make that perfect creamy stout. But I'm not a big believer in force carbonation. I'd much prefer to naturally carbonate in the keg. I know that beer gas is 75% CO2 25% N mix. Normal natural carbonation gives almost entirely CO2 (or is it entirely?) and just a bit of N. So how could I naturally create more Nitrogen? Is there a sugar or something, that ferments to create Nitrogen?
Thanks
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:30 PM   #5
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I think you are confused. You carbonate your beer either naturally with sugar or by force carbing with 100% CO2. You then dispense with Beer Gas or CO2. From what I have read, Guinness naturally carbonates.

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Old 07-12-2009, 11:57 PM   #6
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I think you are confused. You carbonate your beer either naturally with sugar or by force carbing with 100% CO2. You then dispense with Beer Gas or CO2. From what I have read, Guinness naturally carbonates.
The nitrogen is forced into the beer under perssure. Since nitrogen does not stay dissolved in liquid, it immediately comes out of solution when served creating that nice moderately carbonated creamy headed beer.

I doubt there is a way to do this without beer gas.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:05 AM   #7
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The nitrogen is forced into the beer under perssure. Since nitrogen does not stay dissolved in liquid, it immediately comes out of solution when served creating that nice moderately carbonated creamy headed beer.

I doubt there is a way to do this without beer gas.
You don't carbonate your beer with beer gas though. You carbonate with sugar or a CO2 tank, then hook up the beer gas to dispense it. It sounds like the OP is thinking you use beer gas to force carbonate it to get the creamy head, which is not the case. You also need a Stout faucet which has a restrictor plate in it.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:08 AM   #8
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I hear arsenic has nitrogen in it. So, you could add some arsenic to your beer and that will give you that N you're looking for.

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Old 07-13-2009, 12:49 AM   #9
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mmmmmm, Arsenic stout, sounds killer!!!!!

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Old 07-13-2009, 02:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
The nitrogen is forced into the beer under perssure. Since nitrogen does not stay dissolved in liquid, it immediately comes out of solution when served creating that nice moderately carbonated creamy headed beer.
Not quite. Nitrogen is something like 1,000 times less soluble in water than carbon dioxide. As such, it will never create an effervescent effect in water at atmospheric pressure. It is also odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, and relatively inert. Those reasons are precisely why it is the perfect gas for serving beer through a stout faucet.

The beer must first be carbonated with carbon dioxide, just as any other beer. The only difference is that it is carbonated to a very low level (1.0-1.5 volumes). The beer then must be forced through a stout faucet containing a restrictor plate, causing much of the carbon dioxide to come out of solution, thus creating the creamy head. It takes a lot of pressure (30-45 psi) to force the beer through the restrictor plate - that's where the nitrogen comes into play. If the beer were stored under high pressure carbon dioxide, it would force carbonate to a much higher level than required, and the resulting pour would be all foam. So, a relatively insoluble gas (nitrogen) is used to provide the serving pressure.

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I hear arsenic has nitrogen in it.
Joke...fail. Arsenic is an element.
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